02.05.15 (Day 496 / 53)
Despite this being days almost 500 and just over fifty of starting this blog and living in my new home respectively, in another respect it is day one. It’s the first day that I’ve really been able to call the shots, put people on hold and take a look at myself.
Some would be forgiven for thinking that I was sorted out as soon as I moved into this place but this is just the next step of getting to know me again, for me and those around me. For the last 53 days I’ve had somewhere I can call a home of my own but for the fifteen months prior to that, I was homeless. As such, I was unable to inwardly reflect as I now am because I was almost constantly in fight-or-flight mode and never knowing what might come next. Unable to let my guard down, despite some barriers being lowered on the relationship front. Anyone taking me on needs to know what they’re getting and in order to know that, I need to know what I am myself.
I’ve changed but I’ve not had the chance to be self-reflective and see what I’ve become. That’s the whole point of this weekend of self-imposed solitary confinement.
I must admit that I’m not as scared of what I’m finding out as I should have been of the person who was me before. That’s the same person who scared his own mother into the hardest decision of her life which forced her to throw me out of the family home.
I’m even tempted to venture that I’m enjoying my own company, now that my wishes have been respected and I’m being left alone. To those who may feel cut off by me cutting myself off, I would point out that this is the whole object of the exercise: to find myself now that I’m able to in a place I can call my own. I’ve not had the chance, nor been given the chance before now. I had to offend people by asking them to please, stay away.
There have been the inevitable interruptions, in the form of phone calls from one of my little sisters, The Courts and one of my adopted daughters, the fold-up one. My kid sister wants to meet me on Monday. As with everyone else, I’ve said that I can’t plan ahead; to not put her life on hold but to ask me again on Monday if I can meet her. I’ll let her know on Monday. Even the eldest daughter was told “No”, when she wanted to come to the pub disco tonight but which I really can’t be arsed with. I adore that girl but at the moment, I need to be in only my own company, getting to know someone I’ve not really known for the last two years and who’s changed a lot. Again, I like what I’m finding.
Selfish? yes. And that’s not normally my nature but sometimes we have to look at ourselves. I’m doing that, even to the exclusion of all my girls: my two besties, who worry about me too much and who may never get me; my two sisters, who I worry about a lot; and my two daughters, who cause me the most worry of all. But the reason those two call me dad is because I’m not the one who will ground them, nor admonish them for what they’ve done wrong – plenty in the younger one’s case but the eldest is catching up – but simply allow them to be teenage girls. They experiment. They get into trouble. I pick them up.
Then there’s the seventh girl who’s always on my mind: the one who used to be known as Steve’s Dan and I was proud to be Dan’s Steve; never wanting anyone else and secure in the knowledge that I truly belonged. This weekend is allowing me to try to come to terms with one of the greatest losses of my life which might have been, had I not fucked it up. We spoke again last night, as we often do. At length. She misses me. She misses our relationship: her words. For someone to be able to say that after everything which happened is perhaps demonstrative of the depth of that girl’s love for me. I only wish I’d got it at the time, before it was too late. Such a wonderful person and my loss.
Dan and others will stand testament to the fact that I have become a better person after all I’ve been through. I’m just getting to know that new person now.
I can’t change who I am. Those who love me are still around me because they love the person I once was and who is almost back. No-one will ever understand, least of all me but them and me seem to like what is emerging from the cocoon but the life sentence of knowledge of what I did will be for life. I have to live with that.
For those who choose to continue to live with me being me, I will be back. I will be better. I just need time.
I’ll get back to you.